“Slayer” by Kiersten White

DF57BC13-4647-4A27-ADF8-9721CDEDD1C8It’s no secret to many who know me — I absolutely *adore* Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I’ve watched it several times (PSA: It’s on Hulu!) and it never ceases to make me laugh, cry, laugh again, and cry some more. (I’m looking at you, “The Body”.)

So when I heard there was a Slayer book coming out, I knew there was no options. I was going to buy it, and I was going to buy it immediately. The stakes were high (pun intended) — would it hold up? Would it make me furious, another adaptation of my faves gone wrong?

Turns out, I LOVED IT.

Slayer starts out after the last season of the show ends, where Buffy rids the world of magic. Or something. But here’s where it’s different from the show, and a wholly awesome new perspective into the Slayer world. The story is told from the

 perspective of Nina, a teen girl who has grown up in the Watcher’s Academy and has spent her life learning how to become a healer. Her twin sister, Artemis, is also there, and she is more of the violent Watcher “type”, always feeling Nina like she is a bit of an outsider.

But then everything changes. Because (and the synopsis says it better than I can) “Nina is not only the newest Chosen One—she’s the last Slayer, ever. Period.”

Talk about pressure.

So you’ve got a Slayer, Watchers, teens and adults, demons, romantic interests, the works! And most importantly, the “who is the bad guy” trope. Is it him? Is it her? It’s her! No wait, is it him? I love this type of storyline so much — it keeps you guessing from beginning to end.

Anyway — If you loved Buffy Summers, you’ll love Nina and Artemis and all of their friends (and foes). There is supposedly more of this story to come, and I can’t wait for them to SLAY me like this one did. 😉

🌟🌟🌟🌟

Buy your copy here!

[Bonus: I listened to the audiobook of this book, and it’s killer!]

Links in post are affiliate links whose proceeds go toward the maintenance of this blog.

Happy Pride Month!

IMG_2812Happy Pride Month all!

My friend Ben over at Ace of Bens created this awesome Pride Tag to celebrate Pride Month! (For those who don’t know, a “tag” is basically a group of prompts bloggers use to write fun, engaging posts!)

Here’s what Ben has to say about it!

To create the prompts for this tag, I used 11 different colors on various versions of the rainbow pride flag throughout history and what they were added to represent. I want to stress that this is not a book tag. Therefore, you don’t have to run a book blog, BookTube, or other type of bookish platform to do this tag!

Rules

  • Credit the original author of the tag — Ace Of Bens
  • Make sure you copy and paste these rules and notes at the beginning of the tag.
  • Tag as many or as few people as you’d like!

Notes

  • This tag originally uses the word “queer” as an umbrella term for the LGBTQ+ community, but you are free to change it to whatever term or abbreviation you are most comfortable with for your own post.
  • You don’t have to be out to be proud of who you are. Therefore, you can still do this tag if you aren’t out to everyone you know, as long as you feel comfortable and safe doing it!
  • Don’t feel obligated to answer all of these questions or to even do this if you are tagged. I want this to be a fun pride month post, not a source of anxiety for anyone.
  • Happy Pride Month!

Black & Brown: People Of Color — Who Is Your Favorite Queer Celebrity/Creator Of Color?

Oooh! Amandla Stenberg is an incredible actor — you may know them from The Hate U Give, Everything, Everything, or as Rue in The Hunger Games! Amandla is non-binary, so they use they/them pronouns. They are popping up in all of the big movie franchises lately, including The Darkest Minds movie that came out last year.

Lavender: Diversity — Name A Piece Of Media (Movie, TV Show, Book, Podcast, Etc.) With Queer Representation That You Admire For Its Overall Diversity.

Oooh. This is a tough one. The Shades of Magic series by V.E. Schwab has some great queer representation, plus it’s a really amazing read. I also loved The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (read my review here). As for television, I’m going to copy Ben’s answer and say Brooklyn Nine-Nine. I have loved this show from the beginning, and it has some great queer representation! It’s a super funny show and if you watch it and don’t laugh there’s something wrong with you! 😛

Red: Life — What Point Of Your Life Were You At When You First Learned About The Queer Community? What Point Were You At When You Realized You Were A Part Of It?

I was probably in high school when I really learned about the queer community, but admittedly I didn’t know much, and that was the case until about 5 years ago when I got into blogging. Through reading, learning, and meeting new friends who identify as queer, I’ve learned a lot more and have become more informed about the queer community. It’s very important to me to learn and respect all people, regardless of our differences, because ultimately we’re all the same: human. We all deserve respect and love and I try to spread that message everywhere I go.

Orange: Healing — Community Is A Huge Part Of Healing. How Has This Community Helped You Become More Comfortable In Your Own Skin?

Through learning about the queer community and helping others learn, I feel that it has made me more aware of myself and how I feel. I truly believe that all people are valid and again, that we all deserve love and respect regardless of sexual or gender orientation. It’s healthiest to be who you are, how you want to be.

Yellow: Sunlight — What Is Something About The Queer Community And/Or Culture That Makes You Happy? Something You Find Joy Or Light In.

I’m absolutely thrilled to see the book and television industries becoming more inclusive and that more queer and queer POC are represented in the media. Growing up when I did, while it was the start of inclusivity becoming more common, I do admit that I was quite sheltered in my learning and consumption of queer information. I love that kids and teens growing up now are able to learn more, to see themselves in media, and to know that there are so many people out there that support them.

Green: Nature — How Have You Grown Since Last Pride Month?

I’ve become more informed on the queer community, and issues surrounding the queer folx. I always strive to listen to those in the queer community and learn from them — to support them in every way I can.

Indigo: Serenity — Would You Say You’re At A Point Of Self-Discovery That You’ve Found Inner Peace With Your Gender And Sexual Identities?

In learning more about what it means to be queer, what gender and sexual identities are and how to address them, I feel like I’ve become more informed and feel more confident in my own identity. I hope to support other people in their decisions about these topics as well. It’s hard sometimes living in Nebraska — some people just don’t understand how to love everyone, not just the ones that you agree with. I’m trying to help others around me discover their truths now.

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Violet: Spirit — How Are You Getting Into The Spirit Of Pride Month?

Well, by doing this Pride Tag! I also am aiming to read books by queer authors, and to boost queer voices on twitter and beyond! I so enjoy this month as it lets my friends in the queer community celebrate who they are, and to be PROUD of who they are. 🙂

I’m not sure who to tag — if you identify with this tag, please do feel free to write your own post! Use the original tag post on Ace of Bens for the prompts — I skipped some that do not apply to me or that I do not have an answer for. Thanks for reading! And thank you to Ben for creating the tag! Happy Pride!

Links in post are affiliate links whose proceeds go toward the maintenance of this blog.

“The Night Before” by Wendy Walker

40867676The Night Before is a keep-you-guessing mystery told in the always classic chronologically mixed format — alternating between “Present Day,” “Months Ago,” and of course, “The Night Before”.

Laura Heart has a shady past and a knack for overthinking her romantic relationships. When she goes through her most recent breakup with “Asshole,” she packs her bags and moves from NYC back to her childhood home to live with her sister, Rosie. Rosie, her husband Joe, and their neighbor Gabe, all are connected by proximity, but also by the fact that they were best friends growing up in that same neighborhood. They know each others’ childhood secrets, which for some, are more sinister than is typical.

To ease Laura’s heartache, Rosie helps Laura craft a dating profile and get a date with a respectable, mature, older man — one who would seemingly have a stable life to help Laura keep her head straight. When Laura doesn’t return from her date, her family fears the worst.

This book is a master class in the unreliable narrator, the alternating-time chapters, in leading you down the road only for you to find it wasn’t taking you where you thought.

🌟🌟🌟🌟

Pre-order the book here (releases May 14, 2019)

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. Links in post are affiliate links whose proceeds go toward the maintenance of this blog.

Audiobooks I Love

I read tons of audiobooks every year. They are always playing in the background: when I’m driving, sometimes when working, when cleaning the house, and combining other favorite hobbies like doing puzzles.

I get asked for recommendations all the time, so I thought I’d put together a post with some of my all-time favorites; the audiobooks I push on all of my bookish friends and never stop talking about. I’ll link to my review, if I have one for that particular title.

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin – Amazon

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid – Amazon

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid – Amazon

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens – Amazon

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan – Amazon

The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling – Amazon

The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir – Amazon

The Martian by Andy Weir – Amazon

Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston – Amazon

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series by Jenny Han – Amazon

Sideways by Rex Pickett – Amazon

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng – Amazon

 

There’s a whole secondary section of audiobooks I love: memoirs. I love celebrity memoirs, memoirs of people who had extraordinary adventures, memoirs of just interesting or funny people.

Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain – Amazon

Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between by Lauren Graham – Amazon

The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer – Amazon

The Shift: One Nurse, Twelve Hours, Four Patients’ Lives by Theresa Brown – Amazon

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed – Amazon

Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman – Amazon

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson – Amazon

 

So there you go! Enjoy some new recommendations for audiobook bliss. Let me know in the comments if you have listened to any of these or are looking forward to trying them out!

Some links in post are affiliate links whose proceeds go toward the maintenance of this blog.

“Beneath the Citadel” by Destiny Soria

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This book is INCREDIBLE. The world-building is masterful — it grabs you from page one. Follow this motley crew as they use their strengths to overcome the strange corruption happening in the Citadel. There’s magic! Psychic powers! Prison breaks! Snarky attitudes! Ever-shifting suspected sources of evil! Treason! Transformations! Diversity! And so much more! Pick it up today — I guarantee you won’t regret it!

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 (if there were more stars, I’d give them!)

Buy your copy here!

 

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. Links in post are affiliate links whose proceeds go toward the maintenance of this blog.

Blog Tour: “In Another Life” by CC Hunter

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I’m pleased to be a part of the blog tour for In Another Life by CC Hunter, releasing today!

Check out the book’s description:

What would you do if your whole life was a lie and learning the truth could cost you your life?

From New York Times bestselling author of the Shadow Falls series comes C. C. Hunter’s new YA thriller about a girl who learns that she may have been kidnapped as a child, and must race to uncover the truth about her past before she winds up a victim.

Chloe was three years old when she became Chloe Holden, but her adoption didn’t scar her, and she’s had a great life. Now, fourteen years later, her loving parents’ marriage has fallen apart and her mom has moved them to Joyful, Texas. Starting twelfth grade as the new kid at school, everything Chloe loved about her life is gone. And feelings of déjà vu from her early childhood start haunting her.

When Chloe meets Cash Colton she feels drawn to him, as though they’re kindred spirits. Until Cash tells her the real reason he sought her out: Chloe looks exactly like the daughter his foster parents lost years ago, and he’s determined to figure out the truth.

As Chloe and Cash delve deeper into her adoption, the more things don’t add up, and the more strange things start happening. Why is Chloe’s adoption a secret that people would kill for?

How awesome does that sound?! Questions and intrigue everywhere! You can buy your copy here.

[A Personal Note From Ellie: With the recent flooding in my home state (NE) and helping my family clean up their water-damaged basement, I was unable to finish the entire book by today, but what I read so far was definitely intriguing! This post is a spotlight on the book to recommend it to my readers, but I won’t be including a rating as I normally do until I finish reading completely.]

I was given a copy of this book by Wednesday Books in exchange for my honest opinion. Links in post are affiliate links whose proceeds go toward the maintenance of this blog.

Blog Tour: “White Stag” by Kara Barbieri

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New release Tuesday!

I’m so excited to ring in the new year by participating in the blog tour for White Stag!

Janneke has spent 100 years as a thrall (basically a human slave) to the young goblin lord Soren. Previously, she “belonged” to Lydian, Soren’s cruel and sadistic uncle, and before that, lived in her family’s village before Lydian burned it down. When the goblin king dies, the hunt begins to have a new power on the throne, and Janneke is determined not to let Lydian become the new Erlking. The first to find the mystical white stag and kill it to claim the throne wins.

White Stag is a YA fantasy that takes a new spin on Goblins and changelings and adds a quest or hunt-like feel similar to Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, and also feels like a better-written cousin of the A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas — a young human woman coming into her own and discovering that she is just as powerful as the magical beings around her.

(Also, I do want to note a few quick content warnings: Physical and emotional abuse, several graphic rape scenes/memory sequences, gore, mutilation. This list is not comprehensive and I urge caution if this content may negatively affect your well-being.)

Purchase the book here.

I was given a copy of this book by Wednesday Books in exchange for my honest opinion. Links in post are affiliate links whose proceeds go toward the maintenance of this blog.